THE SOCIAL PROBLEM
Hundreds of children run away from their homes every day in India and are found wandering at various railway stations across the country. A few of them become targets of sexual abusers, and this led to trafficking of many girls into prostitution. Other children get involved in child labour,
where they are abused. It’s only very few of these who are actually able to go back/be sent to their families. Most of these children potentially live off and from the streets thereafter. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a child goes missing every 8 minutes in India.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
Aarogyam is a motorcycle ambulance system run by the district administration at Panchkula, Haryana to reach these unserved geographies in the hilly areas.
The system consists of a set of 6 paramedics who man motorcycle ambulances consisting of a 150cc motorbike fitted with a sidecar stretcher.
The bikes are stationed at designated locations amidst at 6 different clusters of Gram Panchayats (GPs) to cover all of Morni and the Hilly areas of Panchkula. The Emergency Health Relief Services through the initiative are offered to the public, free of charge.
An Aarogyam unit carries a kit to administer multiple services, which can go upto 20 when the service is planned. The most common services being offered by the Aarogyam unit are:
From the beginning of SOCH’s journey i.e. from July 2012, till date, they have helped more than 3600 children found on railway platforms. A few among these children have been provided with institutional care and protection. The rest have been happily reunited with their families, in collaboration with Child Welfare Committees.
To help fulfill their mission, SOCH has also been able to build a strong network with Railway employees and relevant stakeholders at the stations where they are present.Due to conscientious networking in partnership they have received more than 400 children referrals from
them till date.
SOCH was identified and brought to our attention by Gobinda, who helps drive Mauna Dhwani Operations in Odisha. VKF helped get USD 3500, from Yale University alumni, to meet the yearly expenses of 13 girls (school, health, etc.) in Odisha as part of Project Pankh. The donation was generously facilitated by the Yale Community.